Star Trek’s Tasha Yar Returning To The Franchise
Denise Crosby confirms Tasha Yar will appear in Star Trek: Picard Season 3.
When word came in early April that almost the entire lead cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation was returning for the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, there were a few noteworthy absences; among them any mention of Denise Crosby returning as Lieutenant Tasha Yar. This wasn’t much of a surprise, of course, since Yar not only died but–because of the kinds of time travel shenanigans Trek is known for–actually died twice. But apparently Enterprise-D’s first security chief may have another life left, since Denise Crosby recently confirmed her character will return for Picard‘s final season.
As reported by TrekMovie, on the opening day of this year’s Mission Star Trek in Las Vegas, Crosby told fans that Tasha Yar would make an appearance in Picard Season 3. Asked directly if Crosby was reuniting with her TNG colleagues, she answered, “Oh. I don’t want to give away too much. But I’m going to tell you that you will see Tasha Yar, but I’m not going to tell you how. You’ve got to watch.”
Yar was killed off by a powerful entity resembling a sentient oil slick in TNG Season 1’s “Skin of Evil”; the kind of ending usually reserved for redshirts and similarly unnamed characters. While she enjoyed something of a resurrection, fans learned of her second passing in the Season 5 two-parter (or three-parter, if you count the Discovery episode) “Unification.” But, as Crosby hints, there are plenty of different ways Star Trek: Picard could bring about a Tasha Yar appearance without a second resurrection. The actress could appear in a flashback, or her return could have something to do with time travel; something as common in Trek as zombies are in The Walking Dead.
From what Crosby had to say on the matter, Star Trek was destined to suffer the loss of Tasha Yar one way or the other. The actress wasn’t happy on TNG, and in a 2012 interview she made it clear her decision to leave wasn’t rushed. “I was miserable,” Crosby said. “I couldn’t wait to get off that show. I was dying. This was not an overnight decision. I was grateful to have made that many episodes, but I didn’t want to spend the next six years going ‘Aye, aye, captain,’ and standing there, in the same uniform, in the same position on the bridge.”
In spite of not wanting to stay aboard TNG for the long haul, Crosby would go on to return to the series a number of times. In Season 4 and 5, she starred as the half-Romulan antagonist Sela—Yar’s daughter, and again a result of the show’s time-traveling complications. But she didn’t just reappear as a Star Trek villain, but as Tasha Yar herself. In Season 3’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise” she played Yar in a timeline in which she never died and in which Starfleet was in a losing war with the Klingons. She returned once more in the series finale, “All Good Things…”, in scenes set during the events of TNG‘s premiere episode, “Encounter at Farpoint.”
Crosby’s also enjoyed a successful career beyond Star Trek and Tasha Yar. Some of her more memorable appearances since leaving TNG including roles on Ray Donovan, Dexter, Suits, The Walking Dead, and Southland.